Jorge Lorenzo believes he has a chance to end his victory drought at Misano after an encouraging performance in afternoon practice today.
The series champion has not won a race since Mugello in early July, and was unable to finish on the podium in the most recent MotoGP rounds at Brno and Indianapolis. Lorenzo is now 44 points championship leader Casey Stoner, who has won the last three races. But having edged the Hondas in practice at Misano, Lorenzo said his confidence had received a major boost.
"I feel much more comfortable on the bike this afternoon with the changes we made," said Lorenzo, who had only been sixth quickest in the morning, nearly a second slower than Stoner.
"The setting we made is very similar to the Mugello one and there I won the race. To be honest, I didn't expect so much change because we improved more than one second."
Lorenzo is optimistic that Yamaha's gains will be sufficient to allow him to fight with the currently dominant Hondas.
"We are now quite close to a victory I think. Casey and Dani [Pedrosa] are still so fast but at least we are there with them," he said.
Team manager Wilco Zeelenberg agreed that Yamaha had been a significant stride today.
"We analyzed the morning session well, the guys worked hard and we changed the bike a lot for the second session," he said. "We had better traction and Jorge could stop the bike a lot better than this morning. We improved over a second but we still have some issues.
"Now we are up there and ready to improve a little more tomorrow. It was a tough afternoon but the guys did really well to deliver the package."